Travelers and NYSE Euronext CEOs Co-Host “Small Business – Big Opportunity” Symposium with SBA Chief Karen Mills as Keynote Speaker

July 17, 2012

Bloomberg and Christie Administration Officials Discuss Ways to Spur Economic Growth and Job Creation

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today convened a discussion at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to raise awareness of issues impacting entrepreneurs and recommend solutions for success. Today's event culminates the national, multi-year “Small Business - Big Opportunity” symposia series, and U.S. Small Business Administration head Karen Mills delivered the keynote address.

At the event, Travelers Chairman and CEO Jay Fishman proposed specific solutions, including developing a three-year incubator period during which small businesses would face lower taxes and fewer regulatory requirements and penalties. He also recommended that cities and states consolidate overlapping and redundant regulations to reduce red tape.

“As one of the largest insurers of small businesses, we have a first-hand view of the challenges they face, and we feel a responsibility to advocate for their success,” said Fishman, whose father was a small business owner. “In addition, sound economic policy that promotes small business growth and job creation is important for our nation's economic success and preserving and promoting the American opportunity.”

NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer discussed the company’s jobs-growth initiative, “The NYSE Big StartUpSM is a joint partnership to fuel new business creation, capital-raising activity and employment growth.”

“By connecting small businesses with established corporate enterprises, we are creating a thriving hub for collaboration and entrepreneurship offering startups and small enterprises new resources for boosting procurement, networking, business development, training and more job opportunities,” Niederauer said. “We applaud Travelers leadership in identifying ways to spur economic growth and job creation, and we welcome the opportunity to co-host the Small Business – Big Opportunity Symposium at the NYSE.”

In addition, Tokumbo Shobowale, who was recently appointed as the Chief Business Operations Officer by Mayor Bloomberg, detailed New York City’s successful efforts to reduce burdens on small businesses.

“New York City is working hard to consolidate regulations and reduce the time it takes to open a small enterprise,” he said. “To ensure the city continues to be a hub of opportunity and success for new entrepreneurs, Mayor Bloomberg has created, for example, a one-stop shop to help small restaurants obtain permits and satisfy other requirements. This step alone has helped open 546 restaurants, saving them an average of 72 days by cutting through the city bureaucracy. The effort has assisted in the creation of more than 6,000 jobs in the food-services industry.”

Elizabeth MacKay, Senior Policy Advisor to the New Jersey Department of State, discussed Gov. Chris Christie's bi-partisan “Red Tape Commission," which was created to identify and resolve onerous regulatory impediments. After the event, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno said the following in a statement: “We’re delighted that Travelers and the NYSE are helping to advocate for small businesses. For America’s economy to fully rebound and create jobs, we need to help small businesses by cutting needless and destructive red tape and reforming our regulatory process so that it’s sensible and predictable."

Speaking from her own experience building Lafayette 148 New York from a small business into a successful and significant U.S.-based employer, Deirdre Quinn noted that, “Starting and running a small business requires constant dedication, focus and attention to every detail. It is reassuring to know that business and government leaders alike are intent on finding solutions to the challenges that small business owners face. These efforts will further clear the way for the next generation of small businesses to achieve success and spur economic growth.”

The full panel consisted of nationally recognized economic and small business innovators and leaders:

  • Moderator: Joan Woodward, Executive Vice President of Public Policy and President, Travelers Institute
  • Kate Mitchell, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Scale Venture Partners
  • Deirdre Quinn, Co-Founder and President, Lafayette 148 New York
  • Tokumbo Shobowale, Chief Business Operations Officer, City of New York
  • Elizabeth MacKay, Senior Policy Advisor, New Jersey Department of State

The symposium at the NYSE is the eighth small business forum the Travelers Institute has hosted over the past 15 months. Last year, the company released a white paper, “Small Business, Big Opportunity,” outlining its principles for advocacy. Travelers commemorated today’s event by ringing The Opening BellSM on the floor of the NYSE.

About the Travelers Institute
The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and the financial services industry. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers' senior management and the technical expertise of many of Travelers' underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information and analysis to public policy makers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit

Ashley Maagero, 860-277-2954

Source: Travelers